Mount Pleasant police are warning residents throughout the area about a Green Dot Bank debit card scam that could seriously impact victims’ credit history and financial health.
In a press release from MPPD Sgt. Eric Relich Friday, he detailed how the scam works.
“The Mount Pleasant Police Department is warning citizens about unsolicited Green Dot Debit Cards they may have received in the mail,” he wrote. “These cards are very real. According to police, someone had to supply your name, address and Social Security Number in order to obtain this “permanent” card, and thereby committed an identity theft.”
According to a notice on the Oak Creek Police Department’s website, this scam is targeting citizen tax refunds:
“Residents receiving the cards are at high risk of having a fraudulent tax return filed in their name. The account is used to accept the fraudulent tax refund; and the perpetrator pulls the money from the account electronically, possibly before the victim is aware that the account exists.
Green Dot Bank cards are available at big stores like Walmart, CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens and online, too. After a temporary card is purchased, the owner then applies online for a name-embossed card Green Dot card with the MasterCard or Visa logo. These cards look just like any other bank-issued debit card and are accepted everywhere MasterCard and Visa are accepted, the release continues.
“Citizens are receiving these ‘permanent/name embossed’ mailing is from Green Dot Bank in Pasadena, CA,” Relich explained in the statement.
If a citizen receives one of these cards in the mail, they are encouraged:
- Contact the Mount Pleasant Police Department to report the ID theft. (262-886-2300)
- Contact Green Dot Bank Customer Service at 866-795-7597 – Some accounts may have balances on them because the tax refund has been deposited. Calling customer service alerts Green Dot to close the account so the perpetrators cannot remove any more money.
- Do NOT call the number to activate the card
- You will have to supply the last 4 digits of your SSN, as it was used to set up the account
- CLOSE any and all accounts with your name at Green Dot Bank
- Destroy the card
- If you have not filed your 2014 Federal Tax Return, contact the ID Identity Theft Hotline at 800-908-4490, and report that you have been a victim of ID theft
- Notify all of your financial institutions (i.e. banks, credits unions, etc.)
- Contact one of the three credit bureaus (below) and place your credit account on “fraud alert.” (Give them your fraud alert protection)
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission on their website at www.ftc.gov/idtheft, or via phone at 877-438-4338